glass railing guide

Best Glass Types for Glass Railings

best glass types for glass railings

Glass railings are one of the luxurious building systems that are used for modern architectural projects whether they are residential or commercial. Three primary glass types for glass railings are mentioned when contemplating a glass railing system: plexiglass, tempered glass, and laminated glass. Plexiglass is a translucent, plastic-based sheet and one of the glass types for glass railings that is frequently used to save money and take advantage of its flexibility.

Tempered glass, also referred to as toughened glass, is the most prevalent of the glass types for glass railings. The hardening glass makes it through a heating and quenching process. Finally, laminated glass is the crowning achievement of any glass railing.

It is made up of two tempered panels joined together by a central vinyl layer, resulting in a panel with unparalleled strength.

What is Acrylic & Plexiglass?

The distinction between acrylic glass railing and Plexiglass railing is analogous to the difference between face tissues and a brand of facial tissues. They’re both describing the same thing but under different titles. Plexiglass is a brand of acrylic that became the generic term for any transparent acrylic panel.

Acrylic is a shortened form of the more precise word polymethyl methacrylate. It is a transparent, plastic-based substance that is widely available.

Acrylic and Plexiglass

Plexiglass is not always the best of the glass types for glass railings, but it is often a more cost-effective alternative to tempered glass railings. Almost every glass railing project includes these two railings. Plexiglass produces the same “see-through” effect as a solid barrier but at a lower cost.

It may also give remarkable strength owing to the amount of flex it can attain, depending on the glass thickness and quality. So, why doesn’t everyone use plexiglass? While Plexiglass is a less expensive option, it has some drawbacks over a tempered glass display.

One of the Best Glass Types for Glass Railings is Monolithic Glass

Monolithic glass is an umbrella word for a single, solid piece of glass. Acrylic and tempered glass are monolithic glass’s three most prevalent varieties.

A laminated panel would not be considered monolithic since it is made up of two tempered panels with a vinyl coating in between.

Monolithic Glass

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is extremely sturdy. Annealed glass is sliced to size and heated to approximately 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit to create a tempered panel. When the panel has reached its maximum temperature, it is quenched or rapidly cooled by strong airflow on both sides.

Tempering is a technique that increases the strength of metal alloys such as steel. The panel is deemed tempered once it has been quenched. Tempered panels are highly robust and work particularly well as one of the glass types for glass railings. It is the best glass for stair railing.

tempered glass for glass railing

Laminated Glass is Another One of the Glass Types for Glass Railings

Laminated glass may be created from various glass materials, but the primary notion is a panel comprised of two panes of glass joined together by a vinyl interlayer. The strongest choice is laminated glass railing because the interlayer allows the panel to bend and absorb massive amounts of stress.

It is the best glass for balcony railing. While lamination choices such as PVB, EVA, and SGP are available, EVA is usually one of the recommended glass types for glass railings inside projects. The SGP is recommended for exterior projects.

SGP is highly resistant to UV and moisture damage and is even hurricane-rated. Laminated glass railing is typically found on coastal outside decks or commercial-grade constructions. Tempered versus laminated glass panels.

laminated glass

How Should the Glass Railing Be Cleaned and Maintained?

UV Resistance: When choosing a transparent railing option, the barrier must stay transparent. Because Plexiglass, also known as acrylic glass, is technically plastic, it gradually loses transparency when exposed to UV light. It gets foggy or yellow and is impossible to see through, necessitating the replacement of the panels.

You’ve probably seen this on headlights or public transit things. UV radiation will also tear down or damage the panel’s structure, weakening it and making it more prone to breaking. Glass, on the other hand, is almost completely UV resistant.

This is why your house windows can remain clear even after decades of use. Glass is tough to be scratched permanently. Scratching tempered glass usually requires a deliberate effort with a sharp implementation. Plexiglass, on the other hand, is particularly simple to scratch because of its softer plastic qualities.

It is impossible to repair a scratched surface. If you ponder at the headlights again, you’ll see a slew of overlapping scratches.

Scratches and blemishes may easily distract from the appearance and presentation of your system if your objective is a durable, clear, and strong railing system. Again, after some time of usage, the Plexiglass panels may need to be changed.

How Should My Glass Railing Be Cleaned and Maintained?

You may clean your glass railings with the same cleaning products used on windows or mirrors. We recommend using a microfiber cleaning cloth to maintain the glass as streak-free as possible. Remember that a bit of cleaning goes a long way.

You won’t need to use much pressure on the microfiber cloth. If your glass railing is installed outside, you’ll need to clean it more frequently. One important piece of advice is to avoid using harsh chemicals for all glass types for glass railings.

If your glass railing is on the inside, wiping it as often as you would dust your house should maintain the glass as clean as the rest of your home.

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